Monday, May 08, 2006

Maid Marianne News

Phil Ball, of Soccernet, on Barcelona the all conquering champions of Spain: Victory, defeat and salvation
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Rob Hughes, of the International Herald Tribune, on the end of the European league seasons: Rancor for the season's end
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Simon Kuper, of the Financial Times, on Totti, Totti, pathetic whiny Totti: Rise and rise of a six-footed loser
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USA defender Cory Gibbs (the du Nord pick to shine at WC06) is going to sign with Charlton in England. He just needs to clear the work permit stage of the deal and its all done. One thing I don't really understand though. Why would Charlton be out signing players if they don't have a head coach. Alan Curbishley resigned and they have not appointed a new leader. Wouldn't you think the new guy would want his own players?
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USL First Division scores from the weekend:
Portland 1-1 Vancouver
Miami 0-3 Rochester
Virginia Beach 1-0 Atlanta
Portland 2-1 Minnesota
Puerto Rico 0-1 Rochester
Charleston 1-1 Miami
-My team could not get it done against those damn dirty stinky hippies of Portland. (Note: I have no problem with hippies, especially those who like free love, but I do hate dirty & stinky.) We have two more games on the West Coast next weekend, against Seattle and Vancouver. These will be very hard games to win. I really wish the Thunder could figure out this road funk they have been in.
-Friday night was the Brazilian goal scoring magician Romario's league debut for Miami. Everyone was expecting something to happen. Nothing did for him. His team was flogged 0-3 by Rochester, and after the game the guy with the massive ego proved just how out of tune the rest of the world is with the game in America. Here is his big quote from the Miami Herald: "To be honest, I wasn't expecting the opposition to be of such a high level." There you have it! And surprise, surprise, he also said he will not be traveling with his team for their road match Sunday in Charleston. Will he show up to any road games this year? The odds should be at least 50-1 against. What did the Miami fans who came out to see Romario and his new teammates think? Said one dude: "If they play like that, spectators won't come back." It sounds like perennial powerhouse Rochester really pounded them.
-First Division standings:
(points - team - games played)
7 Vancouver - 3
6 Rochester - 2
6 Virginia Beach - 3
4 Charleston - 2
4 Montreal - 2
4 Puerto Rico - 4
4 Portland - 3
3 Minnesota - 2
2 Miami - 3
1 Atlanta - 3
0 Seattle - 1
0 Toronto - 2
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From USL: United Soccer Leagues announced Friday that Crystal Palace FC, which recently launched an Academy and Developmental Club in the United States called Crystal Palace FC USA, will launch an expansion Premier Development League team, Crystal Palace Baltimore FC, in 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Thanks to BQ for sending me this link.)
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Mark Schulte, one of our former Minnesota Thundering Thunderers is now playing down in Uruguay (after a fairly successful season in Columbus from whence Big Sig cut him). Sports Illustrated has a Q & A with the big defender who now plays for Montevideo Wanderers. And hilariously enough, there is a picture accompanying the story (taken last year) with Schulte wearing his old Columbus uniform battling it out with now-Columbus player Rotund Rozental in his old Universidad Catolica uni. Choice!
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Atlanta's new ReMax Stadium is set to open June 3.
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MLS scores from the weekend:
New England 4-0 Los Angeles – Sampson's men are terrible and the guys from New England who did not make the USA World Cup squad took out their frustrations on 'em! Steve Nicol finally got his Revs to play like wanna be champs. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, only 11,419 show up in Boston for the MLS Cup rematch on what looked like another gorgeous day. What is wrong with you people?! Whoever is in charge of tickets sales for the Revs should be shit canned (along with LA coach Stevie baby).
Colorado 2-1 DC - A really strong comecack from Colorado. With the players they have, I could see myself really liking this team. Seeing as they play in Inter's colors, it's nice to see them trying for an "internationally flavored" team! 18,225 in attendance.
Salt Lake 0-1 Columbus - 15,804 poor souls watched this crap.
Kansas City 1-1 Chicago - The most lame ass city in the league draw an embarrassing 8,138. Their team is rocking and they still don't go. Who cares about a new place to play. I say ship out now!
Houston 4-3 Dallas - A pretty fun start to what we all hope turns into a fierce rivalry. Houston led 3-0 at half time and Dallas stormed back to make it one hell of a game. 21,448. Now that's how you turn out in numbers to see your team. If they had done this in San Jose the team would not have left (I don't want to hear about it)! Let's hope this causes even more Houston fans to drive up to Dallas next weekend for the rematch.
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You can see a midweek MLS match on Wednesday:
FC Dallas v Los Angeles Galaxy
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MLS has named Brian Ching of Houston as Player of the Month for April 06.
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Real Salt Lake owner David Checketts stepped up to the mic on Saturday and talked to his peeps. It was long over due, and the current ugly struggles with stadium building forced him out of his Dick Cheney-ish lair.
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Steven Goff of the Washington Post on DC United's Carroll brothers, Brian and John.
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The excellent writer Jerry Trecker stops by the Hartford Courant (from retirement) to deliver a nice piece on USA & Leeds winger Eddie Lewis.
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Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald with a feature story on our boy Landy Primadonovan.
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Andrea Canales writes about the Little Baby Jesus too, for Soccernet.
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The usually un-funny Grahame Jones of the LA Times with some pretty good stuff today on the ineptitude of American leaders and media when it comes to soccer.
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Soccer 365 has a Q & A with New England & New Zealand midfielder Tony Lochead, by Don "Duddley" Cuddy.
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Don't forget - Team USA open their World Cup training camp on Wednesday in Cary North Carolina. Any readers gonna stop by for a peak and the send a report back to du Nord?
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Lance sent us a link to a review of the documentary about the New York Cosmos called Once In A Lifetime. It opens July 7, and has been playing at film festivals.
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The Czech Republic's 6-foot 8-inch striker Jan Koller may just be ready for the World Cup after all. He made his return to the field May 2 as a sub in Borussia Dortmund's game at Hannover. He has one month to get into top fighting form.
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Mexico beat Venezuela 1-0 on Friday night in Los Angeles at the Rose Bowl. Omar Bravo scored on a pk.
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A huge blow was dealt to Ukraine's WC hopes as the awesome Andriy Shevchenko hurt his knee Sunday in Milan's match. He will not need surgery, but will be out of action for about 4 weeks, which leads us right up to their first match on June 14 v Spain.
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Holland Cup final
PSV 1-2 Ajax - Ajax star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored both with the winner coming in extra time. Both teams had a man sent off in the second half. Probably not the way PSV coach Guus Hiddink wanted to end his career at the club.
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Dutchman Ronald Koeman quit as Benfica coach and will be named the new head honcho at PSV!
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One of my very favorite players, Jay-Jay Okocha, has been released from his contract with Bolton in England.
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Bayern Munich could only muster a 1-1 draw with Kaiserslautern on Saturday, but in the grand scheme it mattered little as they won the Bundesliga title when 2nd place Hamburg lost 4-2 to Hertha Berlin.
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Boca Juniors won their 2nd Argentine title in a row beating Independiente 2-0 on Sunday. Somewhere Maradona is happy today.
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The race for Italy's Serie A scudetto still rages on, and will go down to the bitter end of the final game of the season next Sunday. Juventus leads AC Milan by 3 points, but Milan can still nab the crown if they win and Juve lose, cuz Milan have the better head-to-head record. Here are their matches next weekend: Milan v Roma, & Reggina v Juve.
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There is only one recent player that I have liked at Manchester United, and that's Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Of course I don't know any of the particulars, but I think the club has given the man a bum steer this season. And he finally said "No Mas!" After being left out of the line up once again he walked out on the team before the last game of the season. I know that as a team player you should never ever do that, but the guy has been amazing for them over the last 4 or 5 years, and I really don't think that's how you treat your top scorer. Horseface has 21 league goals this year! I guess he will have a new home next year, and maybe a chance to stick it to em. Sad.
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Fiorentina striker, and Keeper Ken's idol, Luca Toni scored 2 on Sunday to become the first player in 47 years to bag 30 goals in a Serie A season! Hooray Luca, Hooray Fiore, Hooray Beer! Now we just have to hope he chokes at the World Cup against my boys.
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It really was fitting that Thierry Henry got a hat-trick of goals for Arsenal in the last game ever at Highbury (a 4-2 win over Wigan). What an amazing player he is.
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The Mexican Primera Division Clausura playoffs. Here we go with quarterfinal results:
Cruz Azul 1-1 Toluca - Toluca win it 3-2 on aggregate.
Atlante 0-0- San Luis - San Lius hold on to win 1-0 on agg.
Chiapas 2-4 Guadalajara - Chivas storm back to win 6-5 on the road!
Pachuca 3-1 Morelia - Pachuca win 4-3 on agg.
-Here are the matches in the 2 legged semifinals:
Wednesday (return leg Saturday)
Toluca v San Luis
Thursday (return leg Sunday)
Guadalajara v Pachuca
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English Championship Division Playoffs
The four teams who finished in 3rd-6th spots will fight it out now in a playoff for the third and final promotion spot. Here is the play off match line up:
First leg scores:
Leeds 1-1 Preston - our man Eddie Lewis got the late goal for Leeds to secure the draw.
Crystal Palace 0-3 Watford
Second leg Today:
Preston v Leeds
And Tomorrow:
Watford v Crystal Palace
-Final is Sunday May 21
-Note: The away-goals rule does NOT apply in this competition. All draws go to extra time and then PK's.
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Pairings for the Quarterfinals in La Copa Libertadores!
-First legs are played this week, then the whole tournament takes 2 months off for the World Cup. So the second leg matches will not be played until mid-to-late July. I find that a little odd, but go figure:
May 9 Chivas Guadalajara - Vélez Sarsfield
May 10 Liga Dep. Universitaria - Internacional
May 10 Estudiantes LP - São Paulo FC
May 11 River Plate - Libertad
-Second leg matches in July:
July 18 Libertad - River Plate
July 19 Internacional - Liga Dep. Universitaria
July 19 São Paulo FC - Estudiantes LP
July 20 Vélez Sarsfield - Chivas Guadalajara
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And after a couple years trying to read the CONMEBOL website in Spanish they have now opened a version for us gringo's in English! Hooray CONMEBOL! Hooray South America! Hooray Sugar Cane Stalks Made Into Ethanol!
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UEFA Cup Final this week
Sevilla v Middlesbrough
May 10 at Phillips Stadium in Eindhoven


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Revs Attendance.

They use to have some of the best attendances in the early years. I honestly don't know what happened. I think some people finally got fed up with them having such a poor team. But, they are great now and they should be coming back. Maybe it's the 30 dollar parking Mr. Kraft forces upon us. They use to have 5 dollar parking lots outside the stadium run by private lot owners but those are all but gone now. Is it the higher ticket prices? Maybe it's the 10 dollar Big Mac at the stadium MacDonalds. Or maybe it's the 7 dollar plus beer. It's expensive to go ever week. I wish I could get season tickets cos I know it would be cheaper but I can't go every week either.

Re: Koeman to PSV

Ajax fans are laughing their asses off! Run DMB! GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Hey Bruce! How is Menyonger doing for Rochester this year? Is he starting? Has he scored any goals?

7:28 PM  
Blogger incendiarymind said...

Awesome for Cory Gibbs. My guess is the deal has been on the books for some time and it's just being announced now that the transfer window is officially open. They're obviously not trying to make Spector's loan deal perminent, however, if this is what they're doing for the future.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous bq said...

I love the question and more so the answer of Mark Schulte.

" Do you think MLS would benefit from hiring more South American coaches and players?"

"Schulte: I think MLS will benefit from just having new coaches, period. They use all the same coaches; if one gets fired he just gets hired at another place. So I think any sort of new blood will help MLS."

Bravo Mr. Schutle. Exactly my take for a long time with the MLS. In fact I may have even posted here before but the MLS is sort of incestuous in this way. It's all just the same old rehashed coaching. Get some new blood in to make the game more exciting.

Also, very exciting to see the stadium going up for the Silverbacks. How cool would it be to have photos like that posted someday of my own MN Thunder's new stadium being built. Might be a while however with all the new stadiums being planned for the UofM football, Vikings and the Twins all in the hunt for new stadiums.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to rag on ESPN and their coverage of soccer, cause they have come along way in it. But I still feel that instead of investing and promoting soccer minds and those passoniate about the game, they'd rather rely on talent from other sports in hopes that the interest in the game is gonna soon disappear. I don't know I could be wrong and simply getting frustrated with what could be a transition period to stronger coverage of the game.

Also Simon Kuper's the bomb!


8:26 AM  
Anonymous Demko said...

the romario quote is hilarious. and hilariously predictable. the old man undoubtedly thought he was gonna spend his days playing shuffleboard and gorging on early bird specials before waltzing on the field and showing the stupid americans how to play.

10:55 AM  
Blogger mirarchi said...

I agree with demko -- that Romario quote is hilarious. I think I remember Oldthar Mattheus saying the same thing after his first game with the Metros. ;)

3:09 PM  

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